# Kinematics of Grasshopper Hops - Smarter Every Day 102 | Summary and Q&A

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October 1, 2013
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SmarterEveryDay
Kinematics of Grasshopper Hops - Smarter Every Day 102

## TL;DR

Using high-speed cameras and measurement techniques, the force exerted by a grasshopper during a jump can be calculated.

## Key Insights

• ❓ Grasshoppers exert force during their jumps, and this force can be calculated using measurement techniques and software.
• 🦿 The mass and leg length of a grasshopper are important measurements for calculating the force of a jump.
• ❓ The rigidity of the surface the grasshopper jumps off of affects its acceleration velocity.

## Transcript

[Smarter Every Day theme music] Hey it's me Destin. Welcome back to Smarter Every Day. Today I'm at the Tambopada Research Center, it's run by Rainforest Expeditions, and we're gonna calculate the force that a grasshopper uses to jump with. First thing we're gonna do is we're going to weigh the grasshopper. So this envelope, we're gonna zero ou... Read More

### Q: How is the mass of the grasshopper measured?

The mass of the grasshopper is measured using a scale. The grasshopper is placed in an envelope and weighed.

### Q: How is the acceleration of the grasshopper during a jump calculated?

High-speed videos of grasshoppers jumping are recorded. The software Tracker is used to create velocity vs time curves, from which the acceleration can be derived.

### Q: What affects the velocity at which the grasshopper accelerates away during a jump?

The rigidity of the surface the grasshopper jumps off of affects the velocity. If the surface is less rigid, such as grass or a leaf, the grasshopper will accelerate away at a slower velocity.

### Q: How can viewers calculate the force exerted by a grasshopper during a jump?

Viewers can use the software Tracker to calculate the instantaneous velocity of a grasshopper during a jump and then back out the acceleration and force using the equation force = mass x acceleration.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• The mass of the grasshopper is measured using a scale, and the length of its leg is measured.

• By recording high-speed videos and using software called Tracker, the acceleration of the grasshopper during a jump can be calculated.

• The rigidity of the surface the grasshopper jumps off affects the velocity at which it accelerates away.